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Dunkelsteinerwald

Naturlehrpfad
SURROUNDING AREA - THE DUNKELSTEIN FOREST
The Dunkelsteinerwald region is situated geographically in the triangle between the Lower Austrian capital St.Pölten, the culture and wine centre of Krems an der Donau and the Melk monastery, also situated on the Danube. The northwest boundary of the region is formed by the Wachau and Danube valleys. To the east and south the region gradually gives way to the foothills of the Alps.

From a geological perspective, the Dunkelsteinerwald forms the southernmost section of the Bohemian Massif, which is separated from the forest by the Danube. The region encompasses 204.92 km² in total, and includes the seven municipalities of Bergern im Dunkelsteinerwald, Dunkelsteinerwald, Hafnerbach, Haunoldstein, Karlstetten, Neidling and Schönbühel-Aggsbach.

Its location at the heart of the aforementioned triangle brings the region great advantages, already recognised by the Celts and Romans, in terms of economy and utility.

The Dunkelsteinerwald is characterised primarily by the wooded area, from which it derives its name, and which, with a surface area of 99 km2, constitutes the largest share of the surface area. The large connected forest not only gave the region its name, it also shapes the life and economic activity of the region. Over 20 wood-processing companies - from saw mills and carpentry to joiners - still exist in the Dunkelsteinerwald.

The lion's share of the wooded area, comprising four large forest estates, is managed using the latest methods in forest technology. Hunting, particularly for deer and boar, also plays a major role. Ultimately it is the forest which lends the region a touch of mystique, tranquillity and untamed beauty.